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Darren: FM 2011 Brighton bring back the ‘Manchelona’ Aug-Dec 2012/13

Hey guys and welcome back to my FM 2011 Brighton story. During the last post you saw me spend more than £30 million in pre-season. This money was spread over many positions but mainly focused on youth and securing Brighton’s future. Players such as Charlie Adam, Galeano, Bakambu and Erick Torres joined my team. Thirteen new faces joined the club and despite the obvious problem of blending them into the first team, I feel like these guys are the future. But today we’ll concentrate on the present as I reveal how the Seasiders started their first season in the Premier League. Before that, let me say a quick thank you to everyone who participated in the FMS Live chat yesterday. I think the event was a success and hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. :)

League cup results

I have made it clear from day one that this competition isn’t a priority. Until my side have more strength in depth I can’t afford injuries or fatigue in any of my EPL games. We enjoyed a reasonable cup run, but after beating Southampton and Bolton we lost to Burnley. That was a bad match, but I had to rest my entire first team due to fixture congestion. I didn’t see this as been eliminated from a competition but looked at it as more time to prepare for my big EPL matches.

Premier League results – August to September

And it’s finally here, my first venture into top flight Football with Brighton. The dream start almost became a reality as Aissati scored our first goal against Chelsea, but a wonderful performance from Fernando Torres ruined our day and resulted in a 2-1 loss. That first match hardly saw my boys get the ball and this left me contemplating tactics. Was my old cautious 4-5-1 really going to work again, or should I go for broke and reinstate the Manchelona? While the results improved with a draw to Everton, 2-0 win against Newcastle, loss to Aston Villa and 2-0 win against West Ham, the performances got worse. My side couldn’t keep the ball and I found myself expecting defeat against most opponents.

The final straw came against Manchester United at Old Trafford. I decided that changing back to the ‘Manchelona’ wasn’t a good idea against such strong opposition. However, due to the current tactics direct passing and cautious style of play we didn’t get a single shot off on target and were ripped to shreds. The game finished 4-0 and I was extremely worried, this was the game that brought about change in the Brighton camp.

Premier League results – October to November

The time had come, I slowly scrolled through my archived tactics and selected…the ‘Manchelona’. No more defensive thoughts, sitting back or quick break away’s. From here on out Brighton would be all about attacking football and playing the passing possession game. For any newbies you can read all about and download my Manchelona tactic here.

While my Manchelona suffered a defeat at White Heart Lane to the Spurs, things started to pick up from there. We beat Blackburn 3-0, drew 0-0 to Liverpool and slaughtered Wolves 4-0. Fulham then robbed me of a point as Brighton lost 2-1 away, before Burnley held us to a 0-0 away draw. Stoke took the full force of my frustration when we won away at the Britannia 7-0!! Then Nottm Forest were next to fall after John Fleck secured the 1-0 win late on.

It took a few games to be sure, but after watching the 4-0 victory over Wolves I was convinced I had changed tactic at the right time. You can see why below, I have provided the highlights and all four goals. There is so much variety in our play and the Manchelona really harnesses that.

Premier League results – December

Due to an extended International break October was filled with just three matches, meaning December became a very clustered month. We started well beating Blackpool away 3-0, before a valiant performance against Man City finished in a 3-2 defeat. Next up my boys thrashed West Brom at the Hawthorns 5-2 and then beat Bolton at the Reebok 2-0. We finished December with two very narrow losses to both Arsenal and Chelsea. In my eyes this was a brilliant month, we dropped points to three of the best four teams in the league and also managed three away victories.

Premier League table

OK, I know there’s a lot of white and yellow circles this post, but remember Brighton have just entered the Premier League after two consecutive promotions and need to settle thirteen new arrivals into the team. I personally feel like our start has been incredible and just look at the league table below. Brighton lye in 8th place and need just 10 more points to secure survival. This will be done with ease and the main aim has to be mid-table.

None of this would be possible without some amazing new arrivals. It took the new boys 5-6 games to settle in but we’re now playing some very attractive football and offering every opponent a fight. Galeano has an average rating of 7.47 and scored 6 goals alongside been solid in defence. Charlie Adam has chipped in 8 assists and 3 goals while Wright-Phillips has scored 6 and assisted 4. The same amount as Erick Torres who looks to be full of potential.

Player of the post: Leonel Galeano

Where the goals came from: Erick Torres

With everything going so well on the pitch, we are just left to see how the finances look. The current bank balance is £14.3 million in the red. The initial figure doesn’t look good but if you look closer, you’ll notice we are starting to gain money back and that upwards spiral is increasing with every month. By the seasons end I reckon the club will be out of debt and may even have around £5-10 million in the bank. I would be happy to keep experiencing these ups and downs until Brighton attain Champions League football…because then I know the club can start to make some nice profits.

Well that concludes today’s update, thank you all for dropping by and I hope you enjoyed the post. I’m not sure what the end of season will bring but join me next time to find out. Until then please feel free to ask any questions and I look forward to reading your comments.

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Laxeyman
Laxeyman
10 years ago

That’s a very good start Darren, a few defeats, but thats to be expected, and 8th is a fantastic position at the halfway stage. Hopefully you can stay there, that would be an excellent finish, good luck!

riggsy
riggsy
10 years ago

Great work Darren your new players have certainly settled in now and you are looking good for a top 10 finish if you can repeat this form in the second half of the season! It looks like you just changed tactics at the right time, and at least you are winning the games you are expecting to win and only losing to the “big” teams! Good luck for the rest of the season mate and I’m still confident that you can secure a Europa League spot! :)

Johnny Karp
10 years ago

Excellent results Darren, the team did extremely well considering all the new faces. You had a couple of harsh defeats but every newly-promoted team has those, there’s nothing to worry about. On the contrary, I think that the second half of the season will see you climbing somewhere around 6th to 4th place ;)

Martin - F.M.J.S
10 years ago

Good work Darren, That is a great start for your first season in the Premier League. The results against Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City was a bit unlucky but with 18 games to go i hope you can keep it going.
Also sorry couldn’t make the live chat yesterday.

Kevin
10 years ago

Great first half of the season and you are far away from the relegation zone which must be a comfort. Stunning results over Stoke and Wolves which has certainly helped out. Your +15 goal difference is better than some teams above you!

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
10 years ago

Hey Darren
You have done a great job so far. Brighton being eighth place is really good so far for a newly promoted side. Just make sure you don’t slip up!

George Dobson
George Dobson
10 years ago

Great start darren the manchelona was a defiant success so was the live chat yesterday as well

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Hi Darren,
Great start and the manchelona really turned your team in a scoring machine. Hopefully I can be 8th with Hull after 6 months in the Premier League!

Birdy
Birdy
10 years ago

well done Darren, Torres and Bakambu are starting to come of age and you have taken the league by storm by getting into the top half which is very hard to do. I hope you guys can keep it up and stay in that great position

Aaron
Aaron
10 years ago

Well done Darren, keep this up and you’ll have Gus Poyet phoning you for advice! Speaking of adivce, I’ve decieded to sell Petr Cech at the age of 31 in my Chelsea save for 35 million, do you think this is too soon or am I right at cashing in now?

Aaron
Aaron
10 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

I have Delac who is 21 and 3 star rating (with 3.5 PA) and I bought an 18 year old for £10 mil who also has 3.5 PA. By getting rid of my older players I managed to rake in 90 million :)

Lye
Lye
10 years ago

Hi Darren,

First of all, sorry i missed the live chat. When i got back from my mother in-law house, the chat was over.

That’s very good start for a newly promoted club. Guess you need to strengthen more before you can give those strong teams a run for their money but you are getting close on top. My prediction of a top six finish is well in line. Good luck for the rest of the games ahead.

Vineeth
Vineeth
10 years ago

Hey Darren,

Its odd seeing you lose so many games…but it was to be expected I guess…

Good thing you changed to Manchelona (Hurray! :D ) again…seems to be working well for you…better to lose attacking than while defending!! ;)

I also wanted to let you know that I am using a formation very similar to your Manchelona in BSN with Redditch Utd. Currently 1st in league with 23 matches played.. :)

Still hoping to see you finish 6th.. good luck!

CsAtlantis
10 years ago

Could Galeano be top scorer for your team? :D, he is quite a beast! Good to see the Manchelona in play again, your team should be able to get top half table at this rate

McDermott, Wright Philips, Erick and Charlie Adam are all doing the business for you, poor soukouna hasn’t scored yet though :(

Rob Yeats
Rob Yeats
10 years ago

My prediction that you will be in Europe looks well founded, keep it going Darren!

tom
tom
10 years ago

Ah Galeano…defensive rock and goalscoring predator lol…great read again…enjoy seeing you construct a well rounded squad that seems capable of covering all circumstances…

Cant help but notice Newcastle just above u in the league table lol ;) …finish above newcastle as a season target???

Jayzinho
Jayzinho
10 years ago

Amazing start mate, hope you can keep it up!

onecapwonder
onecapwonder
10 years ago

Looking good so far, I’m sure the fans will enjoy this “boring mid-table” finish immensely. Home wins against all bar the top teams and points form difficuly away trips suggest that within a few years you’ll be challenging for the CL. Also all the teams above you really should be there which says even more about how well Brighton have been so far.

Great to see the new players are fitting in well, though Bakambu seems to be struggling a bit I guess hes coming on from the bench a lot so harder to make an impact. Donal McDermott seems to be having an incredible season so far. The Manchelona coming back is great just the thought of a “direct 4-5-1” brings me out in a cold sweat. Best of luck with the rest of the season,

Martin
10 years ago

Congratulations on a terrific start to your premier league season…8th is a brilliant position to be in after 20 games. Your definitely on traget for a mid table finish and if things go your way a european place. Good Luck pal and looking forward to your next post :)

MRDNRA
MRDNRA
10 years ago

Finally able to read some more, missed a few posts lately due to having no internet at home. Good to see you’re doing so well, and I reckon you probably only need 5 more points to survive at most (my leicester game 1st prem season I finished 16th with just 28 points, and 17th the next season with 34! I’ve yet to see anyone get relegated with 40 points).

Anyway, I would be highly surprised if you don’t stay up, a mid table finish is definitely possible given your current form.

MRDNRA
MRDNRA
10 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

Not got internet back til 22nd at the very earliest. Just on at my nanna’s at the minute. Still useful, she’s only 0.5 mile from us (same as before we moved house about 3 weeks ago!). Our ISP already sent out a few engineers to fix the problems but no luck so far, but once it’s back up I’ll be able to follow everything properly again.

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